Ajax Cape Town will participate in the 2017 Nedbank Cup when they face Kwadukuza United in a last 32 clash this coming Saturday. We look back at the club’s history in the competition, starting with the 2000s.
The Urban Warriors were only formed in 1999, making their first participation in South Africa’s Nations Cup the 2000 Bob Save Super Bowl. Ajax made a good first impression by defeating African Wanderers 3-2 away from home on debut, but they exited in the next round at the hands of Free State Stars.
A first-round exit in 2001 was followed by a strong run to the final in 2003 (there was no competition played in 2002) when they overcame Dynamos, Kaizer Chiefs, Alexandra United and Jomo Cosmos. Sadly, Ajax’s first run at the Absa Cup trophy ended in defeat at the hands of local rivals Santos.
The Urban Warriors almost returned to the final in 2004 (they lost on penalties to Manning Rangers in the semifinals), while 2005 and 2006 brought early-round disappointments. However, in 2007 under the guidance of Muhsin Ertugral, Ajax claimed their only National Cup title to date.
Ajax won five straight matches outright and conceded zero goals in a perfect display in 2007, topped off by a 2-0 win over Mamelodi Sundowns (who were chasing a league and cup double after winning the PSL) in the final. Bryce Moon and Franklin Cale scored two of the most famous goals in the club’s history.
The 2008 Nedbank Cup saw Ajax stumble at the first hurdle against Kaizer Chiefs, while they ended the decade with a semifinal showing in the 2009 edition. After defeating three lower league teams in succession, Ajax were beaten by second-tier University of Pretoria in the semis.
Ajax Cape Town’s Nedbank Cup performances 2000-2009
2000 Bob Save Super Bowl
First round: African Wanderers 2-3 Ajax
Second round: Free State Stars 1-0 Ajax
2001 Bob Save Super Bowl
First round: Maritzburg City 1-0 Ajax
2002 – No National Cup competition played
2003 Absa Cup
First round: Ajax 3-1 Dynamos
Second round: Ajax 0-0 Chiefs – Ajax won 5-4 on penalties
Quarterfinals: Alexandra United 1-3 Ajax
Semifinals: Ajax 2-0 Jomo Cosmos
Final: Santos 2-0 Ajax
2004 Absa Cup
First round: Ajax 3-0 Dynamos
Second round: Kaizer Chiefs 0-1 Ajax
Quarterfinals: Ajax 1-1 Wits University – Ajax won 5-4 on penalties
Semifinals: Manning Rangers 1-1 Ajax – Rangers won 6-5 on penalties
2005 Absa Cup
First round: Moroka Swallows 3-1 Ajax
2006 Absa Cup
First round: Ajax 3-1 Silver Stars
Second round: Ajax 1-1 Tembisa Classic – Classic won 4-3 on penalties
2007 Absa Cup
First round: Fidentia Rangers 0-2 Ajax
Second round: Ajax 1-0 Wits University
Quarterfinals: Bloemfontein Celtic 0-1 Ajax
Semifinals: Ajax 1-0 Santos
Final: Mamelodi Sundowns 0-2 Ajax
2008 Nedbank Cup
First round: Kaizer Chiefs 2-0 Ajax
2009 Nedbank Cup
First round: Thistle Grove 0-3 Ajax
Second round: Nathi Lions 0-1 Ajax
Quarterfinals: Winners Park 3-3 Ajax – Ajax won 4-2 on penalties
Semifinals: Ajax 1-2 University of Pretoria